A few weeks ago Dan Melchior came to town to play a few shows and record a session for WFMU. Instantly I was reminded of the powerful, joyous glee of rock music in its most distilled and perfectly romantic form. As Melchior and his band Das Menace ripped through songs from his ever-extensive back catalog as well as tracks from his new LP Christmas For the Crows on the Daggerman label, all my problems and worries vanished for a spell while my brain absorbed the distorted guitar vamps and anti-hip rhetoric. As I wait with baited breath at my mailbox for my copy of the new LP to arrive, I asked Mr. Melchior to take the helm as guest columnist and talk about his recent fave recordings and as always Melchior is ahead of the game. So enjoy a trip into Melchior’s world and then go out and buy his entire discography.
LSD March, Constellation of Tragedy
This one is from last year.
I just recently started listening to this band – I got 3 records almost simultaneously – but this is my favourite.
At first their stuff just sort of eluded, but intrigued me. Then I noticed I was listening to them more than anybody else.
It’s very fragile music, which seems to be just about hanging together – people compare them to the Velvet Underground – and I will say that (for once) it’s a fair comparison – but only the ‘Pale Blue Eyes/Jesus/Here She Comes Now’ sound. Of course it just sort of explodes in Japanese fashion every now and then.
Pink Reason, All records, but the song ‘Down on me’ in particular.
I think all Pink Reason’s releases were great last year - and different from each other, which is the clincher.
I haven’t heard a song by him that I don’t like. ‘Down on me’ is really a brilliant piece of work though. It sounds great – it’s performed really well, and it’s an amazing song. You’ve got the big triumvirate there, and it doesn’t happen very often.
Trad Gras Och Stenar, Rock For Kropp Och Sjal
There’s something about this music that evades too much analysis.
They sort of sound like they’re struggling with their instruments, or approaching them from a completely different angle than anyone who you might try to compare them to. I think this gives their stuff a tension that is missing from 99% of ‘rock’ music - - they achieve something a lot closer to the feeling that a lot of Non Western music has - they let their music breathe, you can hear things butting up against each other, melding together - - rusty strings and all that stuff – I don’t know.
This is one of my favourite records. The song ‘Junkman’ is incredible.
TS Mc Phee is a great guitar player, but that isn’t all that’s happening – and they aren’t a boogie band. The words are intelligent, but not smart ass – the arrangements are great, the songs stick with you.On top of all that it’s got crystal clear, booming production that let’s everything have it’s space, including pretty violent bursts of noise here and there.
I’d love to make a record something like this one day.
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